The most pernicious perceptual illusion


Thank you to those who have responded to my call for like-minded people to take my projects to the next step… I’m looking forward to co-creating. To reiterate my call:

I am putting together a team.  If you’re a big picture thinker with a sense of humor and a sense of fun – looking for ways to make a difference in this crazy world; if you have any skills in editing, website development, Internet marketing, research, etc. – or even just time to spare and would like to volunteer – let me hear from you.

You can email me at –

My current website is –

My new website (in development) is –

With this post I conclude my series of essays on ways in which our perceptions present us with an illusory interpretation of reality.  In brief, I have described how our perceptions 1) Give us only the information ‘we need to know’ to survive; 2) make people and things appear to be physical objects in a material world; 3) make each of us seem to be at the center of that world; 4) ‘thingify’ or separate what we perceive into ‘things’ we can name; 5) separate ‘self’ from ‘other,’ evoking an egoic territory of self-interest; 6) make each of us seem to be an individual; 7) make sense of our world by how it compares and relates to our ‘self;’ and 8) give us the appearance of constancy in an ever-changing universe. Here is the ninth and final aspect of perception that I discuss in the series.


The ninth and most pernicious way perception creates an illusion occurs when connected, living beings are perceived as separate and made into things – and ‘things’ are dead. As things, living beings become stripped of their beingness. Thus, people can think of them as having no inside, no consciousness, no feelings to take into account, not even any experience of pain, nothing at all to consider. Thus, living beings can be treated and used as commodities. Thus, we humans, we perceivers can create industrial agriculture, mistreat, slaughter and eat animals, extinguish entire species, make war on and kill one another, and even endanger the survival of our home, that thing called Earth.

The ninth evolutionary benefit – the illusion of the separation and subsequent thingification of living beings – is hard to see as an evolutionary benefit. It is the latest perceptual illusion to arise and is the correlate of the illusions of materialism and the separation of self and other. It arose simultaneously with the evolution of language and, of course, enabled the continuous evolution of it.

As words became symbols for things, the other parts of speech modified and rearranged these symbols, while at the same time conserving what they pointed to. In this way, separation and thingification are beneficial, at least from some aspects of the human perspective. In fact, they are part of the reason why humanity is taking over the earth. Because without them, you could not think about things – as things, and without that logic, science and technology would never have come into existence.

Finally, we come to the perceptual illusion itself, which also has problematic and beneficial aspects.  The problem is that in creating an illusory picture of reality, perception keeps you from seeing things as they really are.  The benefit – and it is a considerable one – is that this illusory picture of reality is user-friendly. It automatically organizes and interprets reality in the most efficient way for the perceiver.  Without the perceptual illusion we would be lost, floundering in a miasma of relativity.

All of the above are paradoxes.  They are examples of the drawbacks and benefits of the perceptual illusion, but there are even more aspects to it. These are the underlying dynamics of the way perception works which lead us to the unconscious and unwarranted assumption that these are also the ways that aperceptual reality works.

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Whole-system change is real… and imperceptible


If you have been following me and are familiar with my website, you know the quality of my thinking and writing. And now, I would like to do more.  I would especially like to reach out to younger generations… but with a combination of humor and sanity.

I want to put together a team.  I am looking for like-minded people to take my projects to the next step.  If you’re a big picture thinker with a sense of humor and a sense of fun – looking for ways to make a difference in this crazy world; if you have any skills in editing, website development, Internet marketing, research, etc.; or even if you just have time to spare and would like to volunteer – let me hear from you.

You can email me at –

My current website is –

My new website is – (in development; 1st page only is relevant)

Dr. Jeff

(P.S. If you volunteer, you’ll get free training in PsychoNoetics…)

Now back to the search for what is real…
This is the fourth essay in a 5-essay series on the perceptual illusion.
It presents the 6-8th ways that our understanding of reality is limited and made false by the ways we perceive ourselves and the world around us. It moves toward the awareness that

The  sixth way perception creates an illusion is by creating the illusion of being an individual.  Of course, it is related to both the illusions of separation, and the separation of self and other. However, it is such a central illusion that it bears pointing out.

The illusion of being an individual is also the sixth evolutionary benefit, for without it the whole house of cards, the entirety of the perceptual illusion, both the drawbacks and the benefits – would collapse.

The seventh way perception creates an illusion is by relationship. The perceiving organism implicitly relates and compares everything to its Self, or, by extension, a projection of its Self – on every level of complexity and every dimension of beingness.  Thus, things can be classified as better or worse, nearer or further, more or less.

However, the seventh evolutionary benefit is also the illusion of relationship. The organism in question uses these relationships to make sense of the world.  Without relationships, both explicit and implicit, without better and worse, nearer and further, hotter and colder, one can‘t have descriptions, qualities or values: like temperature, location, weight, size, etc. Without comparisons, without things, one is just left with the ‘isness’ of aperceptual reality.

Another, little seen aspect of the perceptual illusion of relationship or comparison is ‘scale.’ The universe is vast, comprising things too small to see with the naked eye, and too large to see in their entirety without standing backway back. This holds true whether the distance one stands back is measured in microns, meters, or light-years. And, of course, the same principle extends (variably) to all dimensions: weight, distance, force or strength, etc. But if we were to change size radically, to go to a completely different scale (on the powers of 10), or if we were a lot smaller or bigger, the scale by which we perceived would also change.

Humans perceive on the human scale, cells perceive on the cellular scale. The size of the perceiving organism in question determines the scale of perception, and the sensory organs are calibrated to that scale.

The eighth way perception creates an illusion is the appearance of constancy.  However, since the lack of constancy is disorientating – to say the least, the appearance of constancy is also the eighth benefit.

Imagine the universe as a balloon. As it expands the ‘apparent’ distances between heavenly bodies, even the internal distances within atoms and molecules, ‘seem to’ increase, while all other dimensions increase or contract simultaneously.  However, without a point of reference as a comparison, it is impossible to perceive these changes. Determination, location or measurement requires one or more fixed coordinates to use as a constant.  There are no still coordinates or absolute constants in the universe, only relative ones. Since fixed constants don’t exist, nothing can be determined or measured absolutely.  So even though all dimensions change, in the absence of fixed coordinates, the changes cannot be determined, documented or measured.  In fact, they are unnoticeable.

Whole system change is imperceptible.

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Continuing the search for what is real


One month into the new year… moving quickly into this 21st century, it seems more and more important that we have clarity about what is real. Below I continue my ‘investigative reporting’ on the perceptual illusion. Many philosophers and wise people have trod this ground, but it continues to be our operating system, getting us deeper and deeper into the mud of our human nature.

 In December’s post I offered three ways in which our bodies select and process information: 1) Giving us only the information ‘we need to know’ to survive; 2) making people and things appear to be physical objects in a material world; 3) making each of us seem to be at the center of that world. Here I outline two more ways in which the perceptual illusion carries us toward the divisiveness we currently experience in our world.

 You might try joining my investigation by opening to the energies behind my words, sort of like you experience your peripheral vision when you’re focusing on something. ‘See’ what comes to you, and let me know…

Toward greater awareness and better choices,


Continuing the Search for What is Real

The fourth way perception creates an illusion is by separation. We see a world and the universe populated by separate ‘things,’* particles, atoms, cells, organs, plants, animals, even people. We perceive things as separate, and we believe what we see, but as Arthur Koestler, Ken Wilber and others have pointed out, in reality everything is interconnected, every boundary is also a connection.

[*Perception divides continuous reality into separate things. The word thing is a Mobius (my term for any word or concept that has two or more meanings, with an invisible transition between them). The concept of a thing is an artifact of perception, and it and its equivalents are the basic building blocks of every language (because every language is more or less perceptually-based). Without saying ‘thing’ – or some equivalent, you cannot refer to anything, but at the same time it points to an illusion, a figment of perception.]

Every organism and/or Self is simultaneously both individual and collective; that describes both the smallest unit of life and the largest collective, on any and all possible dimensions, ‘physical, and cognitive/emotional.’ Thus, individuals become inter-relational bodies or collectives, both ‘physical collectives,’ such as cells, organs, plants and animals, and ‘cognitive/emotional /social/economic’ collectives or extended Selves in the form of organizations – i.e., families, religions, corporations and even nations.

The fourth evolutionary benefit is the illusion of separation, without which it would be impossible to make the necessary distinction between self and other. But perception does make the distinction between self and other, which is the fifth way perception creates an illusion. In the perceptual illusion the self is always the perceiver, and the ‘other’ is the thing perceived.

But in aperceptual reality there are no perceivers and perceived, no selves and no others – no such distinctions exist. There is only one, interconnected universe.

With the distinction between ‘self’ and ‘other,’ the ego arises. The ego is a concept, the ‘I’ concept, and this concept creates a platform to perceive from. But it’s more, much more. It’s also the consciousness of owning one’s own experience; it’s the awareness of ‘I am,’ of this is me and not you. It is also the awareness of privileged access, exclusive access to one’s own thoughts and feelings. And it is the awareness that nobody shares my inside, but me. Even if I want them to, even if I strive to describe my experience, the most vivid description I can come up with inevitably pales alongside the experience itself.

In a sense people own their egos, and in that sense they have a tendency to take all the credit for anything good onto themselves, and project the blame for anything that goes wrong onto others. This illusion, call it the illusion of self-ownership, also leads to the desire to control things.

The ego is part of the perceptual illusion; but at the same time it’s real. It’s a real experience – in consciousness – and consciousness is not only real, it is a primary dimension and the irreducible quality of all life.

If the fifth way that perception creates an illusion is the separation of self and other, this is a precondition for selfish self-interest and its accompanying territoriality.  However, this same illusion is also necessary for survival as an organism, which again is a benefit –the fifth benefit.  In selfish self-interest we are protective of our both our individual and extended ‘self,’ but exploit everything else.

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Taking Back God from the Atheists

HD Wallpaper 482

Taking back God from the atheists (featured content on Dr. Jeff Eisen’s new, upcoming book, The God Book)

A few years ago there was a lot of talk about the new atheists, writers and public speakers (Like Richard Dawkins) who argued vociferously against the existence of God. They argue against the Old and New Testament depictions of God as a paternalistic personage who is the Creator of the universe, also omnipotent, beyond reproach and fulfilling a plan which is ultimately both all-inclusive and completely benevolent.  Their arguments were actually attacks on true believers and the Judeo-Christian religions, attacks which dwelled on the internal inconsistencies, the claimed miracles and the scientific fallacies with which the Bible contains, and upon which true believers based their claims for the existence of God.

These new atheists fancied themselves the vanguard of progressive thinking, but the truth is that they were just erecting (or more accurately accepting) a strawman, and then knocking him down. In doing so, despite their arrogance and intellectual pretensions, they exhibited no more thoughtfulness than the religionists they oppose. Not only were both in error, they were both in the same error, just on different sides of it.

Of course God does not exist as the bible portals him: an omnipotent puppeteer, creating both the set (Universe) and the puppets and then pulling the strings. As a matter of fact God does not exist as any-thing at all. But this does not mean that God does not exist! God does exist, but not as a thing, and not necessarily under that name.  God exists as the substrate of consciousness beneath all forms, the force animating all life, the Oneness common to all the separate things.  Just as the material world of form does not exist except as a perceptual experience of quantum level reality, so God does not exist except as an experience of the selfsame perception. The point is not to invalidate these biblical myths of God; any rationalistic idiot can do that. The point is to go beyond the thingness attributed to God, to the universal experience, the universal longing, the universal premonition of something more, something basic, something sacred, something mysterious, and ask “what is being experienced in this longing “?

But before both the devout and the atheists can do that, they have to face the psychological roots both in their belief in God and their rejection of God, their need to believe and their need not to believe! 

 The need to believe in God has many roots. One of these is humanity’s desire for a good, loving, parent, someone to take care of them and to keep them safe through all the hardships of life: famine, floods, disease and war. To do this that parent has to be all-powerful. In other words that parent has to be Godlike. Another root is the fear of death. Everyone dies, yet if you believe in the biblical God and you play your cards right your soul will go to heaven – where it will live forever.

Yet another root is the need to make sense out of a senseless existence in a senseless world.  A mature mind can find sense in the unfolding of natural processes… the Tao, evolution, entropy, randomness etc., and can accept chance and meaninglessness as well. But the childish mind, the mind that has not yet accepted the limitations of the parents, while rejecting both the protection and their authority, and thus always looks to them for guidance, sense, meaning, coherence, can only be found in a plan.  Any plan must be preconceived in a mind, and the biggest plan of all, the plan for the universe, must preexist in the mind of God. It must be part of God’s plan.

For these childish minds, these true believers and unbelievers, these needy ones (and that category includes most of the human race) there are no end of people waiting to exploit their weaknesses. The majority of these are true believers themselves, sharing the same weakness, the same need for self-delusion. But some are spiritual predators, deceiving others for money, power and prestige. These people are lost souls, true monsters, and the belief systems, the deceptions, both religious and atheistic that they insinuate into our institutions, be they churches, governments, schools or helping professions are the real work of the devil.

The atheists, the scoffers, the people who fervently deny God are on the other pole of the same dimension. Their problem is really hidden despair. So deep is their discouragement, so limitless is their alienation that they reject their own souls. They are one-dimensional men and women, rationalists, materialists. They treat themselves, their children and the world as things, and things can be qualified, compared and consumed.  That the biblical God should exist is unthinkable, but that there should be a dimension of being, a soul dimension beyond the material, yet experienceable, is very probable.

The point is not to tear down this catchall and paternalistic concept of God, this pathetic misconception, this belief born of desperation and matured by misdirection.  The point is to replace arrogance with compassion, to understand the biblical God’s roots in human misery and human need, and to address the real, underlying problems without attacking the popular solutions, because only then will the majority of humanity mature enough to turn away from primitive beliefs and find their Selves; only when the underlying disease is cured will the symptoms abate.

The first step in this endeavor is to replace the biblical God with the real deal, to go back to the early Gnostic conceptions of God, the sacred philosophies and psychologies of Buddhism, Advaita Vedanta, contemporary non-duality and the esoteric teachings of the other great religions. These, properly understood, will give people a real source of comfort and security, a real resting place for their souls, a real intimation of immortality.

For the need and the experience of God, call it whatever name you will, has been arising in the human heart since the dawn of humanity. The time has come to break free of the spell of religion, with its urging to take the biblical Gods seriously, and with its equally preposterous assigning to the category of godlessness all those who resist. The time has also come to deeply explore and understand the roots of this experience, rather than just mocking the absurdities of the various scriptures.

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PsychoNoetics as Buddhist Healing

In many ways PsychoNoetics fits squarely within the Buddhist tradition and can be seen as Buddhist healing. First of all it, like the whole of Buddhism, is a program for escaping suffering. What’s more, the conception of suffering is the same in PsychoNoetics and Buddhism, namely it is the suffering we create for ourselves. Furthermore the origination and continuation of suffering are seen in the same way in PsychoNoetics and Buddhism. Some of these similarities are:

The laws of cause and effect (karma), as they are held and work in the consciousness of the individual. (On the level of the physical body as well as the enoeic {karmic or soul} and egoic levels)
The ways in which karmic cause-and-effect work through perception, both sensory and cognitive.
The way sensory and cognitive perception is formed through prior learning and the way prior learning is formed through perception creating an unconscious feedback loop.
The way this feedback loop needs to be brought to consciousness before it can be revised.
The need to gradually revise this feedback loop by letting go of the beliefs, emotions and intentions, (BEI’s) that underlie these perceptions.

Some Differences

PsychoNoetics of course differs from Buddhism in the means or technology to revise these beliefs. The principal technologies of Buddhism are meditation, education, insight and affirmation. To these, PsychoNoetics adds autokinesiological testing and intentional clearing.

In PsychoNoetics, the first and by far the most significant clearing is Karmic clearing or memory clearing. In this, consciousness itself is cleared of a stream of memories, whether they originated in a past lifetime or the present one. This washes clean the window of perception.

Although autokinesiological testing and intentional clearing are an addition to Buddhist techniques they are an addition that creates further differences. One of these is that, as the clearing proceeds, the mind holds fewer obstacles to stillness so there is less need for meditation.

The other big difference is that, while the pointing, inquiry and understanding aspects of Buddhist education are not only retained but emphasized, PsychoNoetics eschews all beliefs and affirmations for the path of letting go, of neti neti, not this not that. While this is not in accord with all Buddhist teaching, it does agree with the highest Buddhist teaching.

Even beyond beliefs, Buddhism teaches that attachment is the root of all suffering and that letting go of attachments is one of the gateways to enlightenment. Not only is PsychoNoetics in agreement with this, it extends the principal from the psychospiritual level to the physical level. One of its discoveries is that all sorts of dis-eases, from allergies and autoimmune disorders to toxic reactions, diseases and even injuries can be “energy blocks and imbalances”, and are the physical analogs to psychospiritual beliefs and attachments. Following this insight, the diagnosis and treatment of physical dis-ease converges with the diagnosis and treatment of psychospiritual dis-ease.
Presence or Nirvana

Finally PsychoNoetics, like Buddhism, points to an unknowable place, a place beyond words, beyond any designation, a place of no-thingness in which some no-thing arises. That which arises when the causes of dis-ease are cleared is absolute ease, ultimate well-being. It is calm, clarity and compassion. It is inner freedom. It is presence, the presence of that state Buddhism calls Nirvana. And it heals the body as well as the mind and spirit.

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Looking out for Number One


If you’ve been following my blogs, you know the unfolding of my thinking and writing toward sanity and the bigger picture. And you know that I’m looking for like-minded people to partner in a next step that’s coming to me… SANE (Society for Aliens oN Earth).

If you’re a big picture thinker with a sense of humor and a sense of fun – looking for ways to make a difference in this crazy world; if you have any skills in editing, website development, Internet marketing, research, etc. – or even just time to spare and would like to volunteer – let me hear from you. (Thank you!)

You can email me at –

My current website is –

My new website (placeholder for now) is –

Below is a recent essay I’ve written about the personal complexity we must overcome in order to make sane decisions during these times.



Most people, the great majority are intrinsically good.  For the most part, our hearts are in the right place.  But we share one problem – we are all busy looking out for number one. 

But what is number one?  It’s not just the physical survival of our bodies, although it usually starts with that.  It is our identity.

Following the evolutionary mandate to survive, we defend not only our physical body, but also every aspect of our identity as if it is life itself. And we all have multiple aspects to our identity.  They start with the survival, health and well-being of our bodies and the bodies of those close to us – our spouses, our children, our parents, even our friends, but they don’t end there – not nearly.  First of all, there is the idea of well-being for all of them.  And there is a lot to be unpacked with that idea: happiness, comfort, satisfaction, accomplishment and a feeling of worldly success just make up the short list.  The long list would fill the page.

Our identity also includes the totality of the beliefs and emotions that make up our personality, and then, there are the organizations that we belong to and the roles we play in them. Then, for some there are religious beliefs and the place to go to worship; there is citizenship in a nation, i.e., a national identity, or a quasi-racial identity like Jewish or Negro, or membership in a team – bowling or baseball.  And then, there are the causes, pro and con that we are identified with: women’s rights, vaccination, climate change – or simply the right to choose.

All of these are identities.  In fact, just life itself, if it is an idea, something to hold onto, can be an identity.

So, the evolutionary problem is defending our identity as if it is our life.  But there is another problem, as well, a problem some of these identities share, especially the cognitive emotional ones: they are partial – one-sided.  They don’t take into account the big picture.  What about other people, other belief systems, other countries, other races, other sports and other teams?  What about the causes we are for or against, and most of all, the other sides of the causes?

What about the big picture?  Is no one going to take that into account?  Is no one going to be open to it?  Is no one going to make openness a part of their identity?

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More unnoticed assumptions underlying the Perceptual Illusion


As you follow the list of the previous blog with this one, you may find yourself becoming ‘disillusioned’ with much of human civilization, including science, and keenly curious to know what is real beyond all the underlying assumptions. Stay with me here, and as you begin to ‘see’ more of the illusion, answers may begin to arise in you…

Stay tuned within… (and here) for more…

Best, Jeff


7. The assumption that everything moving thing is moving in a single direction. Actually, everything is simultaneously moving in multiple directions.  (The earth is revolving around the sun, while spinning, while moving in the galaxy – which is either expanding or being sucked into a black hole, while being part of an expanding universe, etc.).

A. The assumption that every moving thing is moving at one velocity. (All of the above examples take place at different speeds.)

8. The assumption that everything is either motionless or moving. Actually, they are both, and in some ways, motion equals stillness (for another time).

9. The assumption that space separates things, whereas in reality it both separates and connects.

10. The assumption of the existence of the fundamental particle – and the resulting search for it.

11. The assumptions that reality consists of separate, physical things separated by empty space, instead of inter-relational bodies of either charge or charge plus consciousness.

A. In aperceptual reality there are no material things. Space is not empty; it transmits consciousness (among other forces) and at the same time merges with it to make a field. (In fact, it transmits consciousness by merging with it.) The field of space-consciousness, though invisible, does not separate things; it connects them. It is the invisible medium of connection.

12. The assumption of significance.

A. We assume that the earliest evolutionary corrective is the most significant, and we are always trying to discover the root cause of things. But in the aperceptual reality of general evolution, it is the other way around.  The latest thing to emerge defines the present; thus, it is most significant and should be recognized as such.

13. The assumption of the need to know.

A. The need to know what is wrong in order to fix the body-mind is another underlying assumption of the perceptual illusion. (In aperceptual reality the Self knows, and the Self is consciousness –and all you have to do is ask it.)  However, this illusion is the reason that people tend not to think for themselves and rather rely on external authorities.  The same illusion is also the motivation for the monetization of knowledge, the professionalization of expertise, and the territoriality (including exclusive language or jargon) that is a characterizing feature of all trades, specialties and professions.

B. The perceptual illusion is (at least partially) responsible for the creation of human nature. And the need to know is a principle connection between human nature and the socioeconomic environment (i.e., the scarcity economy) that we have both created for ourselves and are continually affirming through our every evolving institutions.

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Underlying, but Largely Unnoticed Assumptions of the Perceptual Illusion

The perceptual illusion is an appearance, sometimes even a hallucination (in that cognitive information takes a perceptual and sometimes even sensory form). But escaping the perceptual illusion is even more than escaping that appearance; it is becoming aware of our underlying assumptions about the way reality works, then going beyond them.  It is re-conceptualizing and re-visioning the very dynamics of reality.

The master assumption of the perceptual illusion, that which encompasses all of the underlying assumptions, is the assumption of duality.  Beginning and end, inside and outside, creator and creation, here and nowhere, moving and still, separation and connection, even existence and nonexistence – all and more are dualities.  All of the contents of the perceptual illusion conspire to create the assumption that reality is dual.  This assumption, more than any other, is both ubiquitous and unnoticeable – but at the same time, it inescapably taints our conception of reality.

Underlying and dualistic assumptions of the perceptual illusion

  1. The assumption that everything that exists has to have a beginning.
  2. The assumption that everything that exists has an inside and outside.
    1. The universe is a universal inside – or is it? If there is a boundary to the universe, what is outside of that boundary?  Sooner or later we have to run out of boundaries, and then we are left with no outside, just an inside everywhere.  On the other hand, if there is no boundary to the universe – and, of course, there isn’t, how can we even say there is an inside and outside?  An inside and outside of what?
  3. The assumption that everything has a reason and/or an explanation for its existence.
    1. The causal explanation – everything that exists has to have a cause.
    2. The creation explanation – everything that exists must in some way have been created.
    3. The teleological explanation,e., original intention – everything that emerges must be going towards something – have the purpose or potential for its emergence already in place.
  4. The assumption that everything, or even anything has a nature.
    1. All that it really has is a combination of sensory and cognitive qualities in relationship.
  5. The assumption that everything that exists is restricted to one quality or one nature.
    1. The branch of physics known as quantum mechanics has determined (through the famous double slit experiment, among others) that light behaves as both a wave and a particle. Most physicists view this as an anomaly and rationalize it by describing light as a probability wave. But actually, in aperceptual reality, probably nothing existing is confined to a single nature. Upon perception every phenomenon is separate, and has one, distinctive nature, but upon further investigation some phenomena reveal multiple aspects, natures or behaviors (dependent on what the experimenter is looking for). In aperceptual reality every perceived phenomenon is really a noumenal context – a field, a force, a thought or feeling – never separate, never material, never one thing.
  6. The assumption that everything that exists has a location – and that this location is fixed, determinable and observable.

More dualistic assumptions to consider next blog…

P.S. I am still envisioning a team effort around my new website-in-development.  My invitation: if you’re a big picture thinker with a sense of humor and a sense of fun – looking for ways to make a difference in this crazy world; if you have any skills in editing, website development, Internet marketing, research, etc. – or even just time to spare and would like to volunteer – let me hear from you. (Thank you!)

You can email me at –

My current website is –

My new website (placeholder for now) is –

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The Illusion of Human Entitlement

Not everything natural has been made for us to eat – as a matter of fact, none of it has… -Joshan

Cultivation and domestication are the stripping of the unwanted survival strategies from plants and animals so that we can better use them… –Joshan

Until recently, I have taken my humanness, with all that comes with it – its culture, its civilization, its history and diversity, its entitlement – for granted. Like the water fish swim in, it was a given, unnoticed, unremarked upon, taken-for-granted.

I felt I was part of something unique – an exception – the human exception. But I wasn’t looking at it, I was looking from it; and from that viewpoint, I, and to a lesser degree, my fellow humans, had priority over everything else that existed.

I felt – and I’m groping for words here – that this is important, this is the thing, this is the way things are, how they ought to be, how they always were. This is the universal standard.

And, then, I had an epiphany. I realized that the essence of what I was experiencing is nothing less than buying into the viewpoint of humanity as a whole. And the viewpoint of humanity is also a perceptual illusion – a collective one, and also one to be escaped from.

Just as every individual perceives from themselves as the center, and, thus, creates an individual perceptual illusion, we, as parts of the body of humanity, perceive from its center, and, thus, participate in the collective perceptual illusion of human exceptionalism.

An essential part of this illusion is the idea that earth has been given to us as an exclusive human habitat and meant to be that. The very ideas of “given” and “meant to be” imply intention and beg to be attributed to someone – and that someone, however you think of it and by any name you choose to call it, has to be a ‘God.’ And God means us to use the earth as we see fit. It, then, follows that all other living creatures are also given to us – also to be used as we see fit – to be cultivated as a source of food and/or domesticated as pets. Failing that, they are intruders, either inoffensive and to be tolerated, or dangerous, either to be avoided or exterminated.

These are all invisible and almost inescapable aspects of the viewpoint of humanity – a viewpoint which, until recently, I bought into. And by the way, they are found – or at least implicit in every God myth.

But now, in my 78th year, I have come to see that it is all an illusion, the illusion beneath which is an unsettling reality. What is that reality? It is that my humanness, with all that comes with it, is just one more stage in evolution – both biological and social – and that stage, that process, even as I write about it, is still evolving. In fact, that which we experience as the present is just a collection of snapshots, of stills soon to be memories – sort of like those memorabilia we sometimes look at depicting times past – like the Civil War or the sixties.

Do all people feel like this – take for granted and normal their existence and their environment – and from their viewpoint at the center of their world, perceive the rest of the world as ‘mine?’


P.S. I am still envisioning a team effort around my new website-in-development.  My invitation: if you’re a big picture thinker with a sense of humor and a sense of fun – looking for ways to make a difference in this crazy world; if you have any skills in editing, website development, Internet marketing, research, etc. – or even just time to spare and would like to volunteer – let me hear from you. (Thank you!)

You can email me at –

My current website is –

My new website (in development) is –

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The ‘fake news’ within us: The perceptual illusion

Dear Friends,

This season of gratitude and loving intent naturally lends itself to reflection and greater Self-awareness. In the spirit of that reflection, I share here more of my understanding about the perceptual illusion, three ways in which our very human nature selects the information presented to us, biasing our awareness in particular directions. This process is our original ‘fake news,’ that which keeps our systems running in the same place instead of moving ahead in consciousness to meet the potentials of our times.

May these thoughts invite your own expansion and contributions to this critical moment in human history.

All the best, Jeff

ONE. PERCEPTION IS LIKE THE CIA: It presents us with only the information ‘we need to know’

Our perceived world is all that we know of reality. In fact, perception is the only way that we can know reality.

But perception is like the CIA; it classifies us and restricts our access to classified information. We are classified, not by our rank in the organization, but by our position in the tree of life, that is, by our species. Furthermore, it is not some bureau chief that classifies us, it is evolution.

But the standard by which “we” (by “we” I mean not just people, but every species of life) are classified is the same. It is according to the need to know. [Along with everything else, evolution furnishes every species of life with a specific sensorium (senses) and this sensorium, in turn, is precisely tuned to what the species in question needs to survive. It accesses the information that the plant or animal “needs to know”.]

But even this data that we are privileged to know has a slant; it is intended to bias us towards an outcome.

What is this outcome? It is survival.

So, what makes the perceptual illusion illusory? To begin with, it is being limited to, or in the case of the human species, based upon our senses. In fact, that is the first way that perception creates an illusion. Because it is based on our senses, our inner world of perception is subjective. In fact, objectivity flat out doesn’t exist, it cannot. All observation is definitionally subjective.

However, this information, this data that we have privileged access to, is meant to tell us what the reality out there is like. So how and why is it illusory? It’s illusory because it doesn’t tell us what reality is; it only presents us with a partial appearance, an illusion that suffices to keep us alive and reproducing! We must never lose sight of this beneficial aspect of the perceptual illusion, because that is why it evolved in the first place.

So, the first evolutionary benefit as well as the last, is survival.  All of the information that we have access to is related to one thing – survival.  And in the final analysis, what evolution wants to preserve, whatever form it is embodied in – is consciousness.

But this is the rub – the turning of the circle – what is the essential nature of this consciousness that evolution is preserving at any cost?  It is the embodiment – of the experience – of the drive to survive. 

TWO. PEOPLE AND THINGS APPEAR TO BE MATERIAL OBJECTS: science and language confirm this perceptual illusion

The second way perception creates an illusion is by objectifying subjectivity, making the appearance seem real. This creates the consensual reality we know as materiality.

Materiality dissects the continuous system of Oneness into separate and apparently physical things. It does this by integrating sensory inputs with memory and cognition to create the illusion of materiality.

The scientific method potentially offers a way of going beyond all facets of the aforementioned illusion, but in order to realize this potential, science has to be philosophically sound – and it is not. It is important to keep in mind that science itself is built upon and largely confined to perception. Therefore, even its potential is limited.

However, upon re-admitting rigorous, philosophical analysis after the illusion is made visible, there is a jump possible, a re-conceptualization or re-figuring. After making this jump, the perceiver can conceive of real reality, aperceptual reality; a reality free of the illusions of sensory observation, comparison, relativity, dualization and thingification.

Yet, there are even problems with this.  One of the problems is that there are no words capable of symbolizing, designating or even just describing reality. All the words that we commonly use to designate sensations, percepts, concepts or other metaphors for percepts, are nouns or things confirming the illusion, and hence, in the context of aperceptual reality, devoid of meaning.

We have to invent new ways of describing the unexperienceable and/or the unperceivable.  Or else we have to build a field using PsychoNoetic Clearing, meditation, koan practice, etc., and, then, just use words to point to it.

The evolutionary benefit of the illusion of materiality or physicality is protection or safety – which, of course, also directly translates into survival. Without this illusion a cobra would not seem a snake, a lion would not seem dangerous, a knife would not seem a knife and a bus would not seem a bus – that is until it ran you over.

THREE. I APPEAR TO BE AN INDIVIDUAL AT THE CENTER: Benefits and disadvantages of this perceptual illusion

The third way perception creates an illusion is by arrangement. Perception rearranges the appearance of things so that the perceiver appears to itself as the center of the world – whereas in aperceptual reality, there is no such thing. (Instead, the perceiver is only the center of its world.)

When human beings are concerned, this leads into the commonly held belief that “I am an individual, and, as an individual, I am the center of the world.” The reality is that no one is wholly an individual, just a holon (both a part and a whole), and everyone is only a center.

If this misconception is not fully corrected (and, because everyone perceives from their center, it never fully is), it leads to the assumption that the survival of the perceiver (i.e., the perceiving consciousness) is of the upmost priority. This is the root of the survival consciousness which jump-started evolution in the first place.

The evolutionary benefit, then, is the illusion that as the center of the universe, we are the most important things in the universe, and therefore, our survival is essential. This illusion is an essential component of striving to survive, which again is a necessary condition for evolution to take place.

Yet, in human affairs, the centrism of the perceptual illusion also promotes the self-centeredness which is at the root of most social evils, including the thingification and rejection of other people and the assumption that ‘it’s all up to me.’  From the perspective of humanity as a whole, there is certainly reason for us to evolve beyond this illusion.

The one and the only way people are individuals is from their perspective… Joshan


What you think you know

Is just what you see

But you see through what you already believe

And what you believe

Just ain’t so

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Perception, western culture and common knowledge

Sunday greetings!

In this complex world, living a life between what is real and the perceptual illusion is no small feat. The first step is to recognize the illusion.

This is a second taste of ‘seeing between’ the things that western culture, which is pretty much based on perception, has trained us to see. May it point you toward your own inquiry for truth.

Best, Jeff


Western culture – there’s a lot wrong with it and a lot of well-deserved criticism of it, but that criticism ignores one undeniable fact. Both Western culture and common knowledge are based on perception, ordinary, commonplace, human perception, that perception which boils down to the phrase people believe what they see.

But they also see what they believe, and between those two phrases falls the shadow. The shadow of what? – not exactly the shadow of death – or even blame – but the shadow of accountability.  People might not deserve blame for not questioning their experiences, for accepting “things” at face value, but they could do better.  They could hold themselves accountable; they could question their experiences– they could and they should.

Human perception dualizes, polarizes, separates, makes literal and otherwise changes the quality of our experience. Furthermore, it dissects the continuous system of reality into separate things. For convenience, let’s call these processes literalization and thingification.  For the most part, we in the Western world live in a culture of literalization, one in which we take metaphors and allegories literally. We also live in a culture of thingification, one in which we separate continuous systems into separate things. There is a connection between thingification and literalization; both are oversimplifications, convenient and user-friendly, but oversimplifications.

Western culture also interprets  (and now Western culture is everyplace.)  It functions as a ubiquitous, although secondary perceptual filter.  When Oneness is passed through the perceptual filter, it transforms into specialization. When inquiry is passed through this filter, it transforms into the scientific method.  When metaphysical revelations are passed through this filter, they transform into religions.

There are both advantages and disadvantages to these transformations. The advantages are the creation of a world which is simple, easy to manage and understand, user-friendly, intuitive and even predictable. Due to its advantages, our shallow Western culture of perceptual thingification is taking over the cultures of the East, but as I have said, these simplifications do not come cheaply.  There is an exorbitant price to pay, namely the flattening out of experience and the sacrificing of the sacred.

The World Wide Web has made alternate cultural viewpoints widely available almost everywhere.  And our perceptually based “common sense” culture, like the polar ice, is gradually melting in the West at the same time that it is freezing the “spiritual” cultures of the East.


A word of caution: escaping the perceptual illusion and the culture that it leads to is to be done with discrimination, considerately, sparingly and appropriately. For the perceptual illusion is the natural way we see. It is the source of the poetry in life, as well as its spontaneity and humor. Its escape is not to be undertaken lightly, and above all, not with white knuckled determination.

Awareness of the perceptual illusion is meant to be almost an afterthought – but one that, once thought of, one acts on.  We need to be aware of the perceptual illusion so that we can retroactively inhibit acting on those perceptions of anthropocentrism, separateness and linearity, as well as the knee-jerk emotional reactions of territoriality, aggression, againstness and competitiveness, that inescapably flow with it. However, this awareness is not meant to prevent those perceptions and reactions from first occurring.

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Perception… the indispensable illusion

Dear Friends,

Orienting oneself in today’s world is difficult to say the least. I’m called to offer some clarity, which seems to be what I can do and what I can write.  Over the next few weeks, I will be sending out a series of posts about the process by which we ‘see’ the world, how we interpret it emotionally, and in the end about human nature, and how the whole of what we see is an artifact of what we are.

If you’re wondering about the way things work, perhaps it will be of some value to you in these times.

Best, Jeff


The act of perception, in all its modes, sensory and cognitive, blinks the known world into existence.  Because of that, it is often talked about in spiritual circles as creating the world, as if there would be no reality if there were no beings to perceive it.  To think that perception creates reality is a mistake, one that knocks the bottom out of any middle ground where physics and metaphysics could meet.  Perception does not create reality; it just creates our experience of reality.

An example will make this clearer.  Let’s say a bus is coming towards you.  Your powers of sensory perception furnish it with color, shape, size, temperature, sound, odor etc., whereas your powers of cognitive perception locate it and identify it as a bus.  Actually, it has none of these qualities.  They are all perceptual illusions, so to speak, and they are all relative to you as the observer.

If you didn’t possess the faculties of sight, hearing, smell, etc. the bus would not possess those qualities.  And if you did not have a brain that remembered, abstracted and put things in categories, the bus would not even be a bus.  Everything that makes up its “busness” and all of the rest of its physicality is a complex, perceptual illusion.  You did not create the reality of the bus; you just created its appearance.  But – and this is important to remember – even an unperceived bus will flatten you if you step in front of it.

The interpretive and transformational effects of the process of perception are invisible to us. For the most part, we just see the world as we see it, a self-evident given that we don’t even think to question.  But everything is not as we see it. As a matter of fact, nothing is. The world we live in is a complete illusion, but a user-friendly and indispensable one. The perceptual illusion greatly facilitates our making sense out of, negotiating and generally living in raw reality.

To better understand what I mean, take an example from the world of computing.  Windows is a graphic interface between the user and the system of programming instructions known as DOS.  It lets the user click on recognizable and ostensibly self-explanatory icons instead of typing in sets of complicated instructions. However, the pictures are really interfaces between the user and the DOS.  When you click an icon or picture, you are really selecting a set of commands.

In the same way, when you interact with an object in your perceptual field, you’re really interacting with an enormously complex intersection of energies in relative equilibrium.  Furthermore, these “energies” have no knowable, sensory qualities whatsoever, nor, for that matter, do they have cognitive qualities.  They are just what they are, yet they can never be known as they are, because as such they are completely lacking in sensory qualities.  However, they can be perceived, and in perception they manifest form and can be related to as such. Just remember that this form, though useful is completely illusory.

What is more, we pay a price for enjoying this “indispensable” illusion.  What is this price?   It is the carving up the world, ourselves included, into separate things, lifeless abstractions, mere resources, soulless and godless.

You see, the world we live in is not the real world; it is the world as it appears to us as it is filtered through the layers of our perception. We are actually being deceived by our processes of perception!

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